In this interview, Dr Ajibola Muraina, a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration, United Kingdom and former Coordinator of the Oyo State PDP, speaks on the alleged sharing of PDP state executive positions in Oyo State. BLESSING BATURE met him
What is your take on the alleged sharing of the current Oyo State PDP Executive positions by the current National Working Committee (NWC) between Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Mr Seyi Makinde’s groups?
You will recall that the Oyo State PDP Congress was held at Watershed Events Centre, Old Ife Road, Ibadan, on 4th November, 2017. It was duly supervised by the Senator Liyel Imoke-led State Congress Committee and monitored by SSS, INEC and the Police. At the said State Congress, election was conducted into all party positions and votes for each position were duly counted and recorded accordingly.
A list of Oyo State PDP Executive emerged with Alhaji Omokunmi Mustapha as chairman. This list was later approved by the then National Caretaker Committee and ratified by NEC of the PDP. Indeed, members of the said elected State PDP executive fully participated and voted at the National Convention of the PDP that ushered in the current PDP National Executive/NWC. At the National Convention held on 9th December, 2017, the said list of elected Oyo State PDP Executive was also ratified.
Secondly, I have to correct the erroneous impression about two groups in Oyo State PDP; there are no groups in Oyo State PDP at all. The PDP in Oyo State is a single entity under the leadership of His Excellency, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja. There is, therefore, nothing to share, as the Oyo State PDP congresses had long been properly and constitutionally concluded.
But some people made effort to have the NWC share party positions.
Yes, recently there was a request placed before the current NWC of the PDP asking for the sharing of the Oyo State PDP executive positions into two: Ladoja’s group and Seyi Makinde’s group. Fortunately for the party in Oyo State, the NWC wisely declined to do so. The NWC believed that political administration is a continuum. Since the then NCC, NEC and Convention of the PDP had approved, ratified and confirmed the list of Oyo State PDP executive, the NWC rightly declined to tamper with the said list.
I congratulate the NWC for that excellent decision. The current NWC, headed by Prince Uche Secondus, in taking this decision complied with their campaign promise of zero tolerance for impunity, indiscipline and unconstitutionality. I urge them to keep the flag flying in that respect so that with a record of untainted internal democracy, PDP will for sure take over the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria soonest. Of course, having learnt its lessons by now exhibiting zero tolerance for impunity, indiscipline and unconstitutionality, this attitude of the current NWC will reflect positively in the government that will be formed by the PDP from 2019.
Do you have any advice for the current PDP leadership with regards to pressures on them to tinker or tamper with settled ward, local government, state or national executives of the party already approved and ratified by the NCC, NEC and Convention?
My humble advice to them is to continue with that spirit of zero tolerance for indiscipline, impunity and unconstitutionality. Nigerians are watching them. Bearing in mind that what led to the fall of PDP was indiscipline, impunity and unconstitutionality, and having been part and parcel of this party for a long time, they should continue to jealously guard their zero tolerance for impunity.
They should, under no circumstances, allow anybody to pressurise them into doing anything that will amount to jettisoning their stance of zero tolerance for impunity. Of course, if they can keep to this, more Nigerians will continue to troop into PDP and success will surely be ours in the coming elections. The leadership at the state, local government and ward levels should also follow and embrace this stance of zero tolerance for indiscipline and impunity for the overall good of our party and I urge them all to so do.
What about those who feel offended that the Oyo State PDP executive remains intact, any word for them?
No one should feel offended with what is in line with the ethos of discipline and constitutionality. I urge our teaming party leaders, admirers and members to let us rally round our leader: Senator Ladoja and march forward under his leadership to take over Agodi Government House by popular votes come 2019. They should know that there is no victor, no vanquished. We must all work together to take over the government at the local, state and federal levels in the interest of the teeming suffering Nigerians.